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“Funeral Hum” & “Broken Children Are Born At Funerals” | Joshua Omena

“Funeral Hum” & “Broken Children Are Born At Funerals” | Joshua Omena

Broken Children Are Born At Funerals and Funeral Hum Agbowo Art African Literary Art Joshua Omena

Funeral Hum


from the mouth of God,

i fall without help into darkness

a song without words,

this tune is shaped like my mother

in a box, in an ambulance,

by the rushing of trees

to where the earth opens

to close again


Broken Children Are Born At Funerals



love is a duty

you don’t become a ghost

and disappear

like mother, father

closed his eyes and

woke to dreams of white places

and we wore black

standing before a hole

in the ground, watching

a man run after his wife



mother was a song

happy, with the

aroma of tomato and spice

mother was full of life

a body of many things

vibrating in a house with

rooms full of chaos

one day, she sat at midnight

drained of air,

and became a memory



home started running

on the day father left and

we became thirsty travelers

fooled by the sight of

vanishing waters

home eludes us

whenever we want to retire

so we sleep on the memoirs

of a man, his wife and their children



in the black of my brother’s eyes,

sadness reflects as the face of a

six year old girl listening to her

aunt say mother is with God

he believes too-

mother chose God over us



broken children are the

products of selfish parents



hymns remind me of numbness

too many funerals can cause

a boy to die once, twice

till his heart stops

believing in miracles



silence is not

always a show of strength



grief is a wall, a refuge

for abandoned children

I grew up there – finding God

with eyes closed and

knees bent on quick sand



healing began as a dream

a holy river reclaiming lost land

shallow sentiments turning into mud

I woke swamped in my sweat

healing was a myth

my body was still lost (in denial)

to pain, to places

I have felt and been



answers begets more questions

maybe peace comes

after many tears


Joshua Omena is the author of Brave – a chapbook. 

His works have featured in: Work Naija- a book of vocations, Afridiaspora’s My Africa, My City Anthology. He has also been published on Kalahari review, Brittlepaper and several other literary journals.

He has a collection of poems forthcoming. Although he currently works as a content developer in an Ad agency, he is sometimes a Freelance Writer. He writes on

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